TEESSIDE Music Society is preparing for a very exciting weekend of music in February. Called Songfest, this is a celebration of 75 years since the foundation of the society and 20 years since the secretary of the society, Julia Haigh, began her Sounds Fun! music for children; and it is Julia who is the organiser behind this big event.

The events will take place at Stokesley Methodist Church from February 15-17. Stokesley Methodist Church has become the hub for Teesside Music Society’s popular events throughout its season. The community church has welcomed the society, who are known to promote professional chamber music, including top of the range musicians as well as young graduates starting out.

The events begin on Friday, February 15, with a Ceilidh, featuring local musicians Over the Yardarm. On Saturday, February 16, singer/songwriter Yvonne Lyon will be performing, and Apollo5, the British vocal ensemble, will close the festival on Sunday, February 17.

“There is something for everyone in our daily workshops,” said Julia. “There is so much music in this area and so much fun to be had in our festival events, such as Sounds Fun! music for babies to five years, and many variations of singing such as, Make an Opera in an hour, Madrigals, World Music and Come and Sing Musicals. The Methodist church has its own event, Come and Sing Hymns and there are singing games too. The Music Therapy event is for parents of children with special needs.”

Many of the specialists who are running the workshops have seen the transformational effects music can have on individuals and communities and will bring their own brand of talent and expertise to the festival.

“I had this idea of a celebration,” said Julia, “but had no idea how we were going to fund it. Then I came across of the Postlethwaite Music Foundation.

“This Foundation gives small grants to registered charities who are advancing music through education, developing the therapeutic benefits of music, or bringing live music to the community. Teesside Music Society was successful in its application, and also received a grant from Jessie’s Fund, which is a York-based charity, promoting music therapy for children."

Frank Harrison, chairman of Teesside Music Society said: “We are very excited to be hosting this celebration festival, weaving together many musical threads and networks within our musical community."

For further details of the events and prices, go to www.soundsfunmusic.co.uk. Daytime and weekend passes are available. The evening events are priced separately.